The Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

Raymond Lee Jennings Convicted of Second-degree Murder

The former security guard accused of fatally shooting Michelle O'Keefe almost 10 years ago was finally convicted earlier today, bringing his lengthy legal battle to an end. 

Prosecutors say Raymond Lee Jennings, 35, killed 18 year old O'Keefe at a Palmdale park-and-ride lot in February 2000, but his case still stirs up controversies years after the murder. 

Jennings was the person who first reported the murder during his routine security patrol, but authorities became suspicious of the security guard. Prosecutors say he gave inconsistent accounts about the night of the killing, where the Los Angeles Times reported that Jennings "betrayed by his own words during a series of statements he gave to detectives and in a deposition in a civil lawsuit brought by the victim's parents."

Jennings' criminal attorney in Los Angeles, M. David Houchin, says that the prosecutors have built the case based solely on circumstantial evidence. The attorney stated that the man is an Iraq war veteran with no prior criminal record and that Jennings' accounts of what happened were only speculations, and that the security guard was unaware of the actual circumstances of the murder.

While there was no direct or physical evidence linking Jennings to the case, he was convicted of a second-degree murder charge. His case can be seen as similar to that of Amanda Knox's murder case, that's plastered all over the media right now.  Most people in America believe she was given an unfair trial and convicted with limited evidence, yet there doesn't seem to be as much sympathy for this guy.

Jennings is due back in court for his sentence on January 22. He faces a maximum sentence of 40 years to life in prison.